When You See A Bully In Action

Last week I asked a tough question.

How we can oppose injustice while demonstrating unconditional grace and forgiveness? I even posed a specific situation and asked what you would do if you observed this event:

Suppose a guy in a wheelchair visited a public spot that, by its nature, was minimally accessible. And imagine that the guy and his companions were subjected to continual rude, insensitive comments from other patrons or staff members who objected to the perceived inconvenience caused by the presence of a wheelchair.

Here’s My Take

As the guy in the wheelchair, I’d roll away if possible. That’s not an endorsement of bullying behavior, it’s a personal choice to say I’m okay with who I am and I don’t want to risk escalating the situation.

As an observer, I’d intervene. Every time (I hope).

I might go to the person in the wheelchair (and his companions) and reassure them that the bullies are wrong. I might help them diffuse or get away from the situation.

I might locate a supervisor and seek help in dealing with the bullies.

I might talk directly to the bullies and ask them to stop their behavior. Ideally I’d have a discussion, bring them together with the person in the wheelchair, and facilitate understanding.

I might, as a last resort, call law enforcement.

I’d choose based on the apparent level of potential conflict and the perceived opportunity for discussion and reconciliation.

I would do my best not to be divisive or to shame anyone—including the bullies.

This is a difficult situation, but “difficult” isn’t an excuse for inaction. I hope I wouldn’t turn away from someone being bullied. I hope you wouldn’t, either.

A child who’s been bullied or abused becomes easy prey for a sex trafficker. Nobody else cares, so when a pimp says nice things and offers protection, she believes his lies.

An adult who’s been bullied or abused loses self-esteem. Why not give in to the perceived comfort of alcohol, drugs, pornography, or other addictive behaviors when no one believes in you?

We’re called to respond—always—with love and grace. But we’re also called to stand up for the oppressed.

“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke?” (Isaiah 58:6)

“Love and grace” must never be an excuse for failing to confront injustice courageously with wisdom and discernment.

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Copyright by Rich Dixon, All Rights Reserved. Used by permission.Rich is an author and speaker. He is the author of: <br
Relentless Grace: God’s Invitation To Give Hope Another Chance
. Visit his web site www.relentlessgrace.com

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